|Author:||Jewel Beth Davis|
|Nearest Large City:||Portsmouth, NH|
|Play Title:||Shadow Dancing|
|Synopsis:||Shadow Dancing explores the implications of the sexual initiation of Chrissie, a thirteen-year old girl, by her stepfather and mother. The far-reaching, long term consequences of this act for everyone are revealed, including a documentary filmmaker, Joanna. The play explores the ripple effect of one person’s decision and all the lives it changes forever. The filmmaker, Joanna, is making a documentary about the sexual abuse of a young girl. She finds herself in two separate prisons and in Chrissie’s home, listening to a story that is both repellent and fascinating. |
Going to the prisons becomes increasingly more difficult for Joanna, and as a result, for her husband, Paul, who thinks he knows his wife. The documentary of this sensitive topic begins to make cracks in Joanna’s protective barriers, and she has anxiety attacks and nightmares as she makes the film. At the climax, she discovers something buried in her own past.
The element of time in Shadow Dancing is a fluid one and sometimes we aren’t sure whether we are watching an event in the present or something that we are hearing about through a retelling. Places also often blend, as the two prisons and Chrissie’s home appear onstage simultaneously, with the lines between the three becoming increasingly blurred.
Joanna is eventually able to come to terms with her new self-knowledge, but she fears for Chrissie, a victim of her own guilt, who is walking the dark hallways of insanity. Chrissie’s unique style of psychosis is debilitating in many ways but also entertaining. She is not certain she wants to give up what is now familiar and comforting. There are no happy endings for abuse victims, but can they learn to understand and move on?
|Theme:||Consequences of Sexual Abuse|